UPDATE 1-STMicro posts 3rd-quarter loss as Asian demand sputters

Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:58pm EDT
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By Leila Abboud

Oct 22 (Reuters) - STMicroelectronics NV posted a quarterly net loss after demand weakened from Asian smartphone and electronics makers, as Europe's largest maker of semiconductors grappled with strong competition in the mobile market.

The company, whose chips are used in cars, computers and mobile phones, reported quarterly net revenue of $2.01 billion, down from $2.17 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Ahead of the results, Bernstein and JP Morgan analysts said STMicro could also be affected by the decline of smartphone maker Blackberry, for which it produced chips for camera modules. That may, in turn, weigh on current-quarter results.

The company said current-quarter revenue would be unchanged from the prior three months, plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

"Blackberry might have canceled many models and STMicro supplied them with camera modules but also possibly other components such as MEMS" or motion sensors, JP Morgan analysts wrote in a note.

Although STMicroelectronics exited its joint venture in mobile chips with Sweden's Ericsson in March, it still earns about a quarter of its revenue from chips for mobile gadgets.

It also lost a key contract for chips in Apple Inc's latest top-of-the-line iPhone 5S to Bosch, but the impact from that isn't likely to appear until the next few quarters, JP Morgan added.   Continued...